Ancient game go has a handicap rule. Player who has smaller experience begins the game with few his stones already on board, set in the exactly chosen spots. That way he has an advantage at the beginning and will be able to play tight match against better player. Simple and brilliant.
Better player doesn’t need to fake that he is doing his best. Better player doesn’t have to play with 50% of determination. Better player doesn’t accidentally make mistakes. He is doing all his best to get the opponent, who began with better position. Go teaches us to respect the enemy, respect the game and respect engagement.
I use handicap rule for all different games when I play with my children. I give them starting bonus, some advantage and then no mercy. I give my best. I struggle with them and I am serious. I show them my determination, my will to win, I show them how with a good moves I can do better in the game.
I teach them how to play better but what is more, I teach them right attitude – when you play, play your best. You own this to your opponent. This is showing respect.
I do my best when I play with kids. I can do this because handicap.
When I play X-Wing with my son, we play without handicap. Every time he kicks my ass, this is because he was better. And he knows it. This is pure satisfaction for him. He knows he won, because he was better. He knows I never fake when I play. I was teaching him that for years.
And you know, even though I loose, I am damn happy. It is so cool when your son kicks your ass. He is better. And in these moments I am proud daddy.